Friday, October 11, 2013

Literary Friday: Looking for Me



This week I read Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman.  You might recall that I read Saving CeeCee Honeycutt last week.  You can read my review here if you missed it.  Looking for Me is much more literary than Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  I absolutely love this book, and it will definitely make my Best of 2013 list.

Teddi Overman is a thirty-something antique store proprietress and furniture restorer extraordinaire living in Charleston.  She's living her professional dream, but at the same time she's suppressing a terrible nightmare.  Years ago, her seventeen year old younger brother disappeared and is presumed dead after a neighbor's horrific animal cruelty incident.  Teddi's brother Josh is an enigmatic character who has a love for nature.  He's truly in his element while hiking and enjoying the natural beauty in the national park near their Kentucky farm.  He has an eerie connection to the natural world that lends an ethereal element to the novel.  On top of the tragedy surrounding Josh, Teddi is estranged from her mother because she left home after high school to follow her dream in Charleston rather than attending secretarial school like her mother wanted.  Teddi wants her mother Franny to visit her in Charleston and see for herself the business she's built, but on the eve of her planned trip to visit Teddi, she becomes ill and soon passes away.  Again, Teddi is heartbroken.  Fortunately she is blessed in getting closure as Franny's best friend Stella tells Teddi about a heartbreak Franny experienced that completely altered her life, demeanor, and hope for the future.  Franny was lucky to have Stella as a confidante.  What in the world would we women do without our best girlfriends?

Although Teddi's family life is tragic on several levels, Teddi has a wonderful best girlfriend and boyfriend.  I think it's cute how Olivia and Teddi meet at an estate sale and become instant friends.  Olivia is living my dream as a rare book collector and dealer, and I liked Olivia's character so much I would love to read her story!  They cheer each other on through bad dates and overbearing-mom moments, and encourage each other professionally. Olivia helps Teddi clean out the family farmhouse in Kentucky, and the two are always there for the other.  I could easily be friends with Teddi and Olivia! Teddi's love interest is Sam, the son of her shop-lifting nemesis.  Whenever Sam's high-society mother steals from her shop, Teddi calls him and sends him a bill.  One of my favorite things about the novel is the development of Sam's character and his relationship with Teddi.  I didn't think I'd like him at all, but I'm in love with him!  Teddi is one lucky duck.  

Hoffman's language is so beautiful in this book that I found myself sighing at her descriptive language.  The plot is partially told in flashback, and I enjoyed the contrast between the two settings of rural Kentucky and quirky-character-filled Charleston. The dedication and love Teddi has for Josh is sweet: Teddi never gives up on her brother.  She never forgets those who were kind to her and helped her start her business.  The way she "pays it forward" in the novel is uplifting as it honors her brother's memory in the best possible way.  The story is very unique, the language is lovely, plus Teddi has shabby chic skills I envy....what more could I want in a book? Nothing!  I was sad when I read the last page.

Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



11 comments:

  1. When do you find to drive carpool, write blog posts, cook and clean and also read. I don't cook or drive carpool and I only clean when I have to. But, I am not reading as rapidly as I used to.

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  2. I will definitely read that one!

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  3. Oh, this looks like another book I will want to read...and own! I love her writing...she weaves things into her books that really make you think! She's a dreamer. Enjoy your day my friend! Hugs!

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  4. Oh, wow...I can't wait to read this. Great review!

    Thanks for coming by today! Yes, we had the room painted gray and I love it!! Almost done with it!

    XO,
    Jane

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  5. This is definitely going on my list. Thanks, my friend. xo Laura

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  6. How sweet! Stories like that make me want to pick up the phone and call every estranged girlfriend. :)

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  7. My goodness ... you have made my day! Teddi's story came from a deep place within me, and I'm thrilled that you loved it. Thank you so much for your wonderful review, Ricki Jill.

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  8. I wish I had as much time as you do to read

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  9. I'm glad you loved it as much as I did! Sam was a sweetheart. =)

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  10. Thanks so much for the review, Ricki Jill, I was eyeing this book and since I have SOOO many piled up I was going to pass. But it sounds fabulous! I've already ordered.
    Hugs,
    Patti

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  11. Hi Ricki Jill~ I always look forward to seeing what you're reading even though I seem to spend less time doing it these days! I'll have to check this book out after reading SCH. I see Beth Hoffman saw your review and chimed in, how fun is THAT?!!!

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